Ukraine vows to strengthen armed forces after Russian airstrikes

  • Monday rush hour hits Ukrainian city
  • Ukraine says 14 dead, 97 injured
  • Zelensky: Air defense is first priority after Biden call

Kyiv, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Ukraine has vowed to strengthen its armed forces after Russia launched its biggest airstrike on the city since the war began, forcing thousands to flee to bomb shelters and prompting Kyiv to stop exporting electricity to Europe .

Fourteen people were killed and dozens injured as missiles struck targets across Ukraine on Monday morning, hitting intersections, parks and tourist attractions.

Ukrainian officials said Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopol and Zhitomyr were reported in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in the center, Zaporozhye in the south and Khal in the east. Cove all exploded.

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The barrage of dozens of cruise missiles fired from the air, land and sea was the widest wave of airstrikes to strike from the front lines, at least since the initial salvo on the first day of the war on Feb. 2. twenty four.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he ordered a “massive” long-range strike after accusing Ukraine on Saturday of attacking a bridge linking Russia with annexed Crimea, but the United States said The scale of the attack could mean that the attack could have been planned for longer.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday, later wrote on Telegram that air defense is “the number one priority of our defense cooperation.”

“We will do everything we can to strengthen our armed forces,” he said in a speech on Monday night. “We will make the enemy on the battlefield more painful.”

Biden told Zelensky that the U.S. would provide advanced air defenses. The Pentagon said on September 9. On the 27th, it will begin deliveries of the state’s advanced surface-to-air missile system over the next two months or so.

A total of 14 people were killed and 97 injured, according to the National Emergency Service of Ukraine. According to Zelensky, the peak-hour attacks were deliberately timed to kill people and disrupt Ukraine’s power grid.

Prime Minister Denis Shmikhal reported that 11 major infrastructure targets in eight regions had been attacked, leaving parts of Ukraine without electricity, water or heat. He promised to restore utilities as soon as possible.

In an attempt to end the blackout, Ukraine has halted electricity exports to the European Union at a time when the continent is already facing soaring electricity prices that have fueled inflation, hampered industrial activity and led to sky-high consumer bills.

battlefield setbacks

The Kremlin airstrike came three days after a bridge built after the capture of Crimea in 2014 was damaged by an explosion. Russia blamed Ukraine and called the deadly blast “terrorism”.

“It is simply impossible to leave this behavior unresponsive,” Putin said, alleging other unspecified attacks on Russia’s energy infrastructure. He threatened more attacks in the future if Ukraine attacks Russian territory.

However, the United States said an attack of this magnitude could not have been accomplished in just a few days.

“It’s probably something they’ve been planning for a long time,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told CNN. “It’s not that the explosion of the Crimea Bridge may have accelerated some of their plans.”

Ukraine, which sees the bridge as a military target to sustain Russia’s war effort, celebrated the explosion but did not claim responsibility for it.

After weeks of setbacks on the battlefield, Russian authorities are facing the first sustained criticism of the war at home, with commentators on state television calling for tougher measures.

Putin responded to Ukraine’s progress by ordering the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists, announcing the annexation of occupied territories and threatening the use of nuclear weapons.

For the third time in a week, Russia appointed senior military personnel on Saturday, appointing Air Force General Sergei Surovykin as the commander of Russia’s forces in Ukraine. He had directed Russia’s brutal airstrikes in Syria.

Russia said it was launching a “special military operation” in Ukraine to get rid of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and the West have called it an unprovoked war of aggression.

Monday’s blast tore a huge crater next to a children’s playground in one of the busiest parks in central Kyiv. An apparent missile wreckage was buried, smoking in the mud. Later in the morning, more salvos hit the capital again.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in an evening update that Russia had launched at least 84 missiles and airstrikes, and that Ukraine’s air defenses had destroyed 43 cruise missiles and 13 drones.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had hit all its intended targets. Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield accounts.

diplomatic front

Russia also suffered a setback on the diplomatic front, with the UN General Assembly voting to reject Moscow’s call for a secret vote later this week on whether to condemn its annexation of four partially occupied parts of Ukraine’s 193-member more

The General Assembly voted 107 in favour of the decision to go to a public vote rather than a secret ballot.

The president of the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+), last week announced deep production cuts to reject the United States, and he will travel to Russia on Tuesday to meet Putin and push for a “military de-escalation.” ‘, reported the UAE state news agency WAM.

Biden and G7 leaders will hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss their commitment to support Ukraine, the White House said.

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Reporting at the Reuters office; Writing by Costas Pitas; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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